With the large expansion of demand for health care and medical services in America, there also is a major increased need for many types of psychological professionals. This fact is made when you review the general job growth numbers in psychology that were published recently by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
That organization has found that the overall demand for psychologists will increase by 19% by 2024. This rate of growth is quite extraordinary; the government agency has found that there will be significantly higher demand for more psychological services in hospitals, mental health facilities, social service agencies and schools, among others.
Specifically it is anticipated that the need for clinical and counseling psychologists will soar by 20% by 2024. Professionals who are interested in these areas of psychology – and any type where counseling and licensure is required – must have a master’s degree in psychology at least.
The data shows that there will be plenty of job growth in the psychology field, and median salaries reflect that, with the overall annual wage at $72,500.
If you are interested in a career where there is strong demand for workers, good compensation, and the ability to help others deal with their problems, earning your master’s degree in psychology could be a good option.
What Type of Specialties Are Available?
When you start a master’s program in psychology, you will need to choose a specific concentration during your first year. There are many types of master of psychology programs from which you can choose. Below are the most common, as well as more information on salary and job demand where available.
- Job Description: Trained to assess, diagnose and treat many types of specific mental illnesses, which can include severe depression, anxiety and other behavioral disorders. These psychologists are highly trained in how to interview their patients, provide diagnostic testing services, and also to provide extensive psychotherapy to groups large and small, and also to individuals.
- Earnings: BLS reports that clinical psychologists can earn a median wage in 2015 of $70,580. This is for all clinical psychologists who have at least a master’s degree and possibly a Ph.D. Indeed.com finds that the average salary for clinical psychologists is $72,000.
- Demand: Job demand in the field of clinical psychology should approach 20% by 2024, the same as counseling psychology.
- Job Description: This type of psychologist is related to the clinical realm, but it is more about helping a patient to deal with personal and family problems. They often help their patients and families to deal with conflicts in the home and may provide counseling to couples as well. Some counseling psychologists special in individuals, families or couples.
- Earnings: BLS also finds that counseling psychologists earn around $72,000 for a median salary. Indeed.com finds that the average salary is lower at $57,000.
- Demand: The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that the demand in this field should increase by 20%, as noted earlier. It is thought that counseling psychologists will be needed much more because of the mental and physical issues that affect people as they age. With Americans living to 80 and beyond, it is certain that there will be more need to help these elderly people to cope with the aging process.
- Description: Specialize in the study of the processes involved in psychology and the development that happens all through life. Many in this field work with children and adolescents. Others may work with older adults, as they study aging and the problems that come with it.
- Earnings:com states that the average salary for a developmental psychologist is $67,000.
- Demand: Developmental psychologists should experience a job growth demand of 11%, which is about average in the field.
- Description: Use principles of psychology in the criminal justice and legal system to aid judges and attorneys to profile suspects cases. They will often testify as witnesses in court.
- Earnings: com reports that the average salary in this field is $78,000.
- Demand: org states that this field is young, but has been flourishing in the last few decades. It has been recognized by legal experts that properly trained psychologists can be of immense help in bringing criminals to justice, and also to help to prove the innocence of others. APA also states that forensic psychology can be a good profitable side occupation for clinical psychologists.
- Description: Apply the principles of psychology to the employment world. They use research and psychology to deal with work related problems and to improve quality of life on the job for workers.
- Earnings: BLS states that the median salary for this field is $78,000. Meanwhile, Indeed.com also states that the average salary for I/O psychologists is $77,000.
- Demand: According to APA.org, the demand for jobs in I/O will increase by 26% in coming years. This is because it thinks that these psychologists will help businesses to learn how to be more productive and to operate more profitably with more competition in the global marketplace.
- Description: Apply advanced psychological principles to disorders pertaining to education and development. They also can work with students to deal with learning disorders and general behavior problems in school. Note that you generally need what is called an education specialist degree or Ed.S. to become a practicing school psychologist.
- Earnings: BLS states that the median salary in this specialty is $70,580. Indeed.com states that the average salary is $75,000.
- Demand: The demand for school psychologists will be at least 20% by 2024, according to US News and World Report. That publication also ranks it #2 for Best Social Services Jobs. The magazine states that it believes that there will be at least 30,000 new jobs for school psychologists in the next decade. It also reports that the field has a very low unemployment rate of 2%. A key consideration is that most school psychologists work for the county or city government, which is usually a very steady occupation.
How Do I Get My License to Practice?
After you graduate with your master’s degree in psychology, you must have at least 1-2 years of supervised experience and then pass your Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology. Specific state requirements vary; check with the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards for your state.
How Can I Increase My Salary as a Psychologist?
As we stated earlier, earning your master’s degree in psychology is generally the first step to becoming a practicing psychologist (note that I/O psychologists usually only need a master’s degree). While you can practice as a psychologist after licensure with a master’s degree, you have to be under the supervision of another psychologist.
After you earn your Psy.D. or Ph.D. in psychology, you will be able to practice on your own as a psychologist, and earn the highest possible salary.
Also, private practice psychologist nearly always have higher salary prospects after years in the field. They will usually earn more than, say, a psychologist who works for a county school system.